Teo Griscom, Stylist & Owner of Unforeseen Circumstances Shop
Stylist & Owner of Unforeseen Circumstances Shop
How did you get started working in your craft?
I can attribute my styling career to my photographer friend Eric Kvatek. While I was trying to get my clothing lines off the ground, Eric would hire me as his assistant for various shoots. That’s back when he shot film primarily, so I would help him load his cameras, pull polaroids, and do location scouting. We traveled to Hawaii and Japan, where eventually he became the only photographer to work with Kapital Japan on their amazing lookbooks. He took me along to sometimes model and then I also started doing some prop/styling work for him.
What was your professional journey before working in this field?
I’ve been working in fashion related businesses for the last 20 years, primarily in design. I co-owned a womenswear line called Jackson, Johnston and Roe for 8 years, and then later a lingerie line called Unforeseen Circumstances. Both lines focused around small productions and were made in the US. I worked for other designers in NYC, and as an assistant buyer in Brooklyn boutique. I am definitely a serial entrepreneur -- I have always wanted to work for myself. In order to achieve that, I have had a slew of restaurant or freelance jobs along the way. Working for yourself means constantly working or at least thinking about your next move.
What do your days typically look like?
I have a two year old now. So I’ve been very fortunate to spend my time with him at home. I started an online and by appointment only store that keeps me busy. I also am the “deputy dog” aka assistant to Scott Corey at Santa Fe Vintage.
What's your favorite project you've ever worked on?
Oh man. I’ve been very fortunate to work with a bunch of amazing people and travel the world, which is something I am incredibly passionate about. It’s hard to chose just one. With Kapital Japan I traveled to Mongolia, Peru, Mexico, and various US states. Those trips were insane and incredibly challenging. With Filson I shot on Kodiak Island in Alaska. We flew seaplanes over the coast and saw whales and a huge grizzly bear stood up as we flew over him. Recently I shot with High Snobiety and Gucci. We used my mother’s house in Galisteo as the location. Also, the eyewear line Jacque Marie Mage from LA, which we shot in Taos. They have the best creative decks. That shoot followed closely to Dennis Hopper and the Easy Rider theme. My friend Teddy Boxberger, who I met when he ran production for Filson, later hired me on a bunch of shoots for Lucchese. We’ve worked all over Texas and the Southwest and did a cool one in Paris last year with Erin Wasson.
This month I’ll travel to South Texas to shoot for King Ranch where it’s 115 degrees and we always get into something challenging. Floods, rattlesnakes, you name it.
What is your future vision for your business?
I want to keep styling and traveling. I also want to focus a bit more on my store incorporating more vintage and possibly finding a seasonal retail space in Santa Fe. My husband Josh has been working for the last 5 years as the chef de cuisine at The Compound restaurant. He has started to work with me helping me get my retail store off the ground. We want have a family owned business. He will also keep chef-ing, I’m sure, here and there. We already have a pop up shop and dinner club that launched this July.
What are some dream projects you'd like to work on?
I would love to do more high end designer shoots. That would be amazing. Truly, I’d love to just keep working with the same teams and brands I have established relationships with. The more you work with a brand or a photographer, the more you get closer to creating incredible stories and content. I would also love to work in film.
What's your favorite thing about your work?
The travel, which is also so challenging. You are up at dawn and shoot till sundown. I do a lot of location styling, so it can be so intense. It’s very different than setting up a rack in a photo studio and just changing looks all day. It’s exhilarating and you create friendships for life. It’s also really a team effort to create successful campaigns.
What's the biggest challenge you face in your work?
Well, with styling, you never know when the next job is coming. That can be a challenge. Now that I have a family, I feel that pressure more and more.
What advice can you give to budding creatives and entrepreneurs in Santa Fe?
If you love it, stick with it. Learn a skill well. Meet as many people as possible. You never know who will offer you something down the line. Be authentic. Be yourself. I fully believe in helping people as well. If I can help someone be successful, I think that’s really cool. So I always try to help people find a way to be successful in their creative endeavors.
When and why did you decide to move to Santa Fe?
I was born and raised in Galisteo, New Mexico. Honestly, I never imagined I would move back home. As fate, or as the land of enchantment would have it, I’ve been called home.
What makes Santa Fe special to you? What is your favorite thing about this place?
I love the quiet. I love being able to drive an hour in any direction and be in the most amazing landscape in the world. The thunder storms in the summer. The sun when it comes out and there is still a foot of snow on the ground.
If you could change one thing about Santa Fe, what would it be?
It’s too expensive.
At the end of the day, why do you do what you do?
It can’t be helped. It’s what I know. It’s in my blood. I want my son to grow up being passionate about his life, so I’ll do my best to lead by example.